Failed in business aged 22
Ran for Legislature—defeated aged 23
Again failed in business aged 24
Elected to Legislature aged 25
Sweetheart died aged 26
Had a nervous breakdown aged 27
Defeated for Speaker aged 29
Defeated for Elector aged 31
Defeated for Congress aged 34
Elected to Congress aged 37
Defeated for Congress aged 39
Defeated for Senate aged 46
Defeated for Vice President aged 47
Defeated for Senate aged 49
Elected President of the United States 51 *
Those are the headlines of Abraham Lincoln’s life! Can you imagine what history would have been like if he’d have given up at his first defeat, when he lost his sweetheart, or when he had a nervous breakdown? We must learn to endure if we are going to live a great life.
John Wesley’s diary has a remarkable month in it that I find so inspiring:
Sunday, A.M., May 5
Preached in St. Anne’s. Was asked not to come back anymore.
Sunday, P.M., May 5
Preached in St. John’s. Deacons said “Get out and stay out.”
Sunday, A.M., May 12
Preached in St. Jude’s. Can’t go back there, either.
Sunday, A.M., May 19
Preached in St. Somebody Else’s. Deacons called special meeting and said I couldn’t return.
Sunday, P.M., May 19
Preached on street. Kicked off street.
Sunday, A.M., May 26
Preached in meadow. Chased out of meadow as bull was turned loose during service.
Sunday, A.M., June 2
Preached out at the edge of town. Kicked off the highway
Sunday, P.M., June 2
Afternoon, preached in a pasture. Ten thousand people came out to hear me. *
If Abraham Lincoln had given up after failing to be elected time and again, if Wesley had run from persecution or rejection, they would not have changed the world the way they did!
They changed the world because of their perseverance and strength. So Don’t Quit!